Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 30:
It is indeed good news for cancer patients as free chemotherapy will be available at all district headquarters hospital in Odisha. The announcement comes on the eve of ‘World No Tobacco Day’.
The state government today extended the cancer treatment facility to all the district headquarters hospitals where only 13 districts were covered earlier – including Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and Ispat General Hospital (IGH), Rourkela.
With this, cancer patients would be able to avail free chemotherapy and consultation at district headquarters hospitals.
“Poor people, especially tribals, residing in villages will be benefited from the health programme. As the treatment would be available near their house, it would reduce physical, emotional and financial burden. In the next two years, radiotherapy centres would be set up at Nabarangpur, Jharsuguda, Angul and Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar at a cost of Rs 40 to Rs 50 crore each,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on the occasion.
Besides, Patnaik announced that steps would be initiated to detect and treat cancer at early stage at community level.
The programme would be run under the active supervision of Mumbai-based medical oncologist Dr Dinesh Pendharkar. The oncologist will be offering his services free to the state government, sources said.
The state government expects that burden on the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) in Cuttack will reduce with the start of services at district headquarters.